this n that

Definite food for thought: Health-Care Reform: An Original And Simple Proposal

…[W]e should return health care insurance companies to the pre-1984 federal regulations that limited their fees to administration only (about 15% of medical dollars), without excessive profits going to their boards of directors, CEO’s or shareholders. The provision of medical care is not the type of profession that can be treated as a simple commodity. The corporatization of health care was a bad idea, and it’s getting worse. It has contributed tremendously to the crisis we’re in now where hospitals and doctors feel squeezed — forcing some of them to shut their doors or quit — while insurance company profits soar.

Not sure I agree with absolutely everything, but this would be a brilliant approach to take, because we could do it right now without spending huge amounts of money creating entirely new entities. The quoted paragraph would be what causes the insurance-pharma juggernaut to quash it, though.

Nice. Because the charges already accomplished what they were intended to do at the time. Stay classy, U.S. Military: Feds drop charges against Bradley Manning visitor.

Apple really doesn’t handle these kinds of things gracefully, do they? Our view: Smartphones strip away yet another level of privacy. Just give everyone apps that show us exactly what is on our phones and the means to retain or delete the info and be done with it, already.

Transcript and video of Obama’s speech on the evening of May 1st: Osama Bin Laden Dead. Fox, of course, stays true to form: Great Job, Fox40! Classy. Anyway, there is no reason to be surprised. He told us exactly what he was going to do: In 2008, Obama vowed to kill Osama bin Laden

So part of the reason I think it’s so important for us to end the war in Iraq is to be able to get more troops into Afghanistan, put more pressure on the Afghan government to do what it needs to do, eliminate some of the drug trafficking that’s funding terrorism.

But I do believe that we have to change our policies with Pakistan. We can’t coddle, as we did, a dictator, give him billions of dollars, and then he’s making peace treaties with the Taliban and militants. What I have said is we’re going encourage democracy in Pakistan, expand our non-military aid to Pakistan so that they have more of a stake in working with us, but insisting that they go after these militants.

And if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act, and we will take them out.

Hell, for that matter so did former President Bush: “..Terror is bigger than one person..So I don’t know where [Bin Laden] is..You know, I just don’t spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you. …I’ll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.” And actually both of these sort of encapsulate all that is wrong with this “War on Terror.” Juan Cole thinks there’s a window of opportunity here. I’m not convinced we’ll take it, even if I concede his point:

If Obama can get us out of Iraq, and if he can use his good offices to keep the pressure on the Egyptian military to lighten up, and if he can support the likely UN declaration of a Palestinian state in September, the US will be in the most favorable position in the Arab world it has had since 1956. And he would go down in history as one of the great presidents. If he tries to stay in Iraq and he takes a stand against Palestine, he risks provoking further anti-American violence. He can be not just the president who killed Bin Laden, but the president who killed the pretexts for radical violence against the US. He can promote the waving of the American flag in major Arab cities. And that would be a defeat and humiliation for Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda more profound than any they could have dreamed.

The entire post is worth reading here: Obama and the End of Al-Qaeda. It covers a good deal of background, from how bin Laden orchestrated 9/11 and what Cole himself saw play out in the first few years afterwards. Whether any of this will result in the repeal of the odious Patriot Act, the closing of Guantanamo, the cessation of illegal wiretapping, torture and any of a dozen other consequences rolling out from 9/11 remains to be seen. Political commentators have run the gamut from Berger’s “The War on Terror is over,” to Wolf’s “We’ll be on high alert for a while as splinter groups may take revenge.” Oi.

And don’t forget this: Osama Bin Laden Pronounced Dead…For the Ninth Time.

Main Street Rage against the Ryan budget proposal… from Republicans. Be interesting to see what they do next.

Very interesting analysis of what may be going on in China right now. China as No. 1? Don’t Bet Your Bottom Dollar. A China Spring?

Hm, looks like Trump’s in the Dumps after being Roasted: Trump Picks a Fight With Letterman. Yeah.

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